THERE ARE OVER 250 TYPES OF BEE IN THE UK, ONE OF WHICH IS THE EUROPEAN HONEY BEE (APIS MELLIFERA). OUR BBKA MEMBERS ARE VOLUNTEERS AND ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN HELPING IF YOU HAVE A SWARM OF HONEY BEES.

OTHERWISE SIMPLY LEAVE THE BEES ALONE, OR IF YOU FEEL YOU MUST DESTROY THEM IT WILL BE AN ISSUE FOR PEST CONTROL.

STEP 1: How do I know it's a honey bee?

Our beekeepers are only able to help in cases of honey bee swarms.

STEP 2: Identifying honey bees

If the insects are not honey bees, this part of the website shows you how to recognise other insects  and  gives some advice on what to do.

Bumblebees

Bumblebees are often confused with honeybees. However they are rounder, larger and furrier and come with a variety of coloured stripes across the end of their tails. Are they in a bird box, under the decking, in the compost?

Bumblebees are important pollinators. Leave the nests alone if possible. They will die out at the end of summer and will cause no further problems. Bumblebees rarely sting or attack people or animals and should therefore not be disturbed. There are 24 different types of native bumblebee, all of which vary in size and colour.

For more information about bumblebees go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, or the Buzz About Bees website.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of bumblebees.

Solitary bees

Are there lots of small bees popping in and out of the wall or very small holes in the ground. Do they have a "reddy/brown" bottom? Are they almost black?

These are solitary bees, of which there are 225 species recorded in the UK and they post no threat or harm to you, your family or pets. Solitary bees are important pollinators and should be left alone. Their numbers will decrease over the summer and their nests should be left alone.

For more information go to Wild About Gardens.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of solitary bees.

Wasps

Is it bright yellow with black stripes? Very smooth, mainly yellow with black stripes? Is it in the roof of your house? Are they coming from a round nest in a tree? Is there a nest in the shed? Do they have a high pitched buzz? Are they after all things sweet? Then these are probably wasps.

For more information go to BWARS.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of wasps.

European Hornets

Are they very big with a loud buzz? Are they black and brown with a hint of orange? Living in the roof or shed? Do they have a very big curved tail? These are European Hornets and are valuable pollinators usually found in wooden areas. 

For more information go to BWARS.

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of hornets.

Asian Hornets

Are they dark brown or black with a velvety body? The queen is up to 30mm long and worker up to 25mm long (smaller than the European counterpart). Are the legs are yellow at the ends (unlike the European hornet whose legs are brown)? Do not disturb an active nest. If you suspect you have found an Asian Hornet please send a photo to [email protected] 

For more information go to www.nonnativespecies.org 

Beekeepers are unable to assist in the removal of Asian Hornets.

STEP 3: I still think they're Honey bees

Honey bees are small and vary in colour from golden brown to almost black.

If you have honey bees in the structure of your property click here

If you are looking at honey bees please contact your local Swarm Collector who will provide appropriate help or advice with your honey bee swarm.

Does your swarm look like this?

If you are looking at these then please contact your local Swarm Collector who will provide appropriate help or advice with your honey bee swarm. 

STEP 4: Find a local Swarm Collector

IF YOU CAN'T FIND A SWARM COLLECTOR LOCAL TO YOU ON THIS MAP - GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOCAL ASSOCIATION WHICH YOU CAN FIND HERE

STEP 5: Further Reading

If you have honey bees in the structure of your property click here for advice

All of the information you need if you have found a Honey Bee swarm should be here on this page. If you feel you do need further assistance you can contact us on 0871 362 0138 (please note calls to this number cost 24p for the first minute and 9p per minute thereafter plus your phone company's access charge).